Getting around Athens
Transport for Athens (tel: 11185, in Greece only; www.oasa.gr) operates the city's buses, trolleybuses, trams and metro/electric train service.
Public transport is cheap and extensive but often overcrowded. Tickets are sold at bus terminals and some street kiosks (periptera) and must be validated in orange machines located on board buses or in the metro station. One-day, three-day, five-day and monthly passes for the entire urban network are available.
Blue-and-white buses run daily, with a limited night service on major routes. The most visited parts of the city are also served by several yellow trolleybus routes.
The electric train/metro Line 1 runs north-south between the suburb of Kifissia and the Piraeus Port (passing through Monastiraki). Line 2 runs from Anthoupoli to Helloniko, (passing through Syntagma) while Line 3 runs from Aghia Marina (passing through Monastiraki and Syntagma) all the way to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. There are plans for a fourth line to be added to the network.
Three tram lines link the city centre and the coast: Syntagma-Neo Faliro, Syntagma-Glyfada and Neo Faliro-Glyfada.
You can hail official yellow taxis with red-on-white number plates on the street. Companies operating radio cabs in Athens include Hellas (tel: +30 210 645 7000) and Ikaros (tel: +30 210 515 2800).
When taxis are in heavy demand, it is not unusual to share the ride (but not the fare) with other passengers. Taxis are cheap by European standards. Tipping is not customary.
To improve Athens's traffic and pollution problem, from Monday to Friday cars with registration plates ending in an odd number are allowed in the centre only on odd-numbered days, while those ending in even numbers are permitted only on even-numbered days. Foreign cars are exempt from this scheme.
Parking in central Athens is severely restricted. Luxury hotels have their own parking spaces. Alternatively, try the central but very crowded car park at Kathmonos Square. In fact, a car is more of a problem than an asset in Athens, although you may wish to rent one for a trip out of the city.
The minimum age for hiring a car in Greece is 21. A national driving licence is sufficient for EU visitors, but non-EU visitors are advised to bring an International Driving Permit. Car hire companies based in Athens include Avis (tel: +30 210 322 4951; www.avis.gr), Europcar (tel: +30 210 921 1444; www.europcar.com), Hertz (tel: +30 210 922 0102; www.hertz.gr).
Athensbybike, Tzireon 16 (tel: +30 210 675 2886; www.athensbybike.gr), hires bikes and runs half-day tours. Funkyride, Dimitrakopoulou 1 (tel: +30 211 710 9366), rents bikes in Koukaki.